Iceland, The Golden Circle

Okay, so today we headed up early to get our car from Europcar a few blocks away right next to Hagkaup, and now my entire body is aching, ancles, shoulders, back, neck, thighs, arms, everything. I’m so prefer galloping. We got there ordered our car, we got a white Skoda with no 4×4 drive but we haven’t planned to drive on any of those roads (yes, there are roads where there is only 4×4 vehicles allowed, if you do it anyway, you have to pay a fine). We got our car, and a map and headed out for the day long event (more or less).

Our first stop was Þingvellir, which is a national park where you can find a rift in the ground and a canyon right down into  a valley. What’s so special about this you might ask yourself, this is where you actually can see and walk between the top of the continental plates of America and Europe. Knowing this, this was pretty amazing, it was nice there, a bit windy and I had my pictures taken, all of us had. We walked down the rift and had some nice views of the rift and the valley, these plates are actually separating from each other with two centimeters a year, yea, I know, interesting isn’t it (really). However, I had some more photos taken and by time we were finished, a group of tourists appeared and then we left (hehe?).

Geyser StrokkurOur second stop was Geysir and Strokkur and a natural geyser park. As soon as we got  there I and my classmates immediately felt the smell of the geysers and the sulfur, the  smell of old eggs. The geysers threw up the water about 15-20 meters up in the air and  higher, when we walked up there Strokkur erupted and we had some sulphur water rain  over us, egg smelling and tasting like yuck (yes, some water accidentally landed on my  lips). We stood by Strokkur for a while, the most active geyser with eruptions every  four  to six minutes. We also looked at Geysir who erupted by 2000 the last time. We took  some  pictures and I personally think I got some nice ones, what do you think?

Our third stop was Gullfoss Waterfall is two waterfalls in one in a gorge which is approximately 2.5 kilometers in length and up to 70 meter in depth. This was an amazing sight, not only that the entire gorge was so big, but also because even if major parts of the waterfall was frozen, there were still a lot of water in motion. Got some nice pictures there as well, we spent some more time there actually, trying to get some different angles, get some information about it before we eventually left to start our own adventure since this was the third and last stop of the Golden Circle as far as we know of.

We looked at them map and decided to look closer at a new and a bit crazy destination, Hekla, the volcano.This resulted in a very long drive up in the highlands, all the landscapes became covered in snow, you could see miles after miles from the car and the snowy mountains just got taller and taller. We drew over several mountains, at one point there even were serpentine roads for us to handle. When we eventually got to the road which we were looking for it was practically all ice and glass and we didn’t really want to risk to drive that road, so we drove back, a bit let down because we wanted to see it but we have already had the chance to get some nice views of the mountain that is Hekla so it was okay.

20140227_150630Once we got down again we drove off to have a fika break (a break consisting drink and buns/cookies and social interactions with each other, typical Swedish). I didn’t really  eat that much so I headed up on a hill/tiny mountain and looked at the view, and soon I  got company with one of my classmates and my mentor. There we found out that my  mentor is a little bit afraid of heights, we took a few pictures on the very windy top with  steeps and no fences, and then we walked down and continued. I was still exhausted when I got down because I ran the way up, and add wind and cool temperatures on  that, you will get tired quicker than normally. That was not a bad thing tho, it felt great.

Then we drove so we could spot the volcano of Eyjafjallajökull clearly in the distance. We drove back and had dinner at IKEA, quite ironic as we all are from Sweden, we ate, had a walk inside the store, bought a few things and drove off home. Now I am here, writing this, my body is still aching and I hope it will end soon enough, aching isn’t something that you want to have for long periods of time, even if it was fun when you got it.

Stay tuned for more information about our stay in Reykjavik and Iceland.

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